NBA History: Top 10 Scorers To Ever Play the Game
The NBA has had a lot of scorers over the years. High Volume and efficient scorers like Michael Jordan, low volume, inefficient scorers like Allen Iverson, but scorers nonetheless.
With out any further ado, I present the NBA's top 10 scorers in history.
Honerable Mention: Allen Iverson
Career Stats: 24,368 Total Points Scored.
Per Game Stats: 26.7 PPG.
FG Percentage: 42.5 percent
Best Season: 33.0 PPG on 44.7 percent shooting
Allen Iverson was one of the best scorers of his time. He could drop 30 on you whenever he wanted to. He certainly had one of the best cross overs of his time, and he had an impressive drive in game.
With that said, he was a one trick pony: While his drive in game was very impressive, he didn't have much of a jumper, neither from mid range nor long range, and he was terribly inefficient at times. Still, he was an excellent scorer, his numbers speak for themselves.
No. 10: Dominique Wilkins
Career Stats: 26,668 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 24.8 PPG
FG Percentage: 46.1 percent
Best Season: 30.3 on 46.8 percent shooting
Dominique Wilkins was one of the games best leapers, and also one of its greatest scorers. While, not incredibly efficient, he shot a good 46% throughout his career. He was essentially a dunker, and was an excellent scorer in his time.
He's ranked 10th because he only excelled in one part of the offense: Dunking. His mid range and long range shots were average at best, but man did he excel at dunking!
No. 9: Julius Erving
Career Stats: 30026 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 24.2 PPG
FG Percentage: 50 percent
Best Season: 31.9 PPG on 49 percent shooting.
Dr. J was one of the greatest scorers to ever step on the court. His drives to the basket were non stop, and truly a thing of beauty. He is most famous for his dunks, which he based his offensive game off of.
The reason he is so low, is because he, essentially, was also a one trick pony. While his dunks certainly contributed to having such a high FG%, he wasn't a very all round player, most notably, his jump shot was lacking. With that said, he was an efficient scorer, and currently sits at No. 5 on the all time scoring list.
No. 8: Rick Barry
Career Stats: 25,279 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 24.8 PPG
FG Percentage: 45.6 percent
Best Season: 35.6 PPG on 45.1 percent
Rick Barry was a very good scorer. He seemed to be able to do it all out there. He was a good mid range shooter, a decent outside shooter (30 percent), and an excellent FT shooter (90 percent).
Barry was definitely one of the leagues better scorers, and he deserves some recognition. His 35.6 PPG year was brilliant, and he was an all round player.
No. 7: Oscar Robertson
Career Stats: 26,710 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 25.7 PPG
FG %: 48.5%
Best Season: 31.4 PPG on 48.3% shooting
You can't have a greatest scorers list without the Big O. He probably is the most all round player ever. He certainly had more than one way of scoring on you. He was a big guy, yet he could still drive to the hoop on you all game long. He could shoot, drive, dunk, lay it in, he had a pretty big repertoire.
His 31.4 ppg season could have been a 40 ppg season were he not such a team player. He definitely could score in bunches, but he isn't the most talented of scorers. That's why he only ranked 7.
No. 6: George Gervin
Career Stats: 25,595 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 25.1 PPG
FG Percentage: 50 percent
Best Season: 33.1 PPG on 52 percent shooting
George "Iceman" Gervin was an excellent scorer. He definitely could score in bunches, and had the talent to do anything he wanted out on the court. He was an efficient scorer, and very effective.
Gervin currently ranks 13th on the all time scorers list, and his 25.1 ppg are excellent for anybody. His game was nearly all round, he just wasn't a very good 3pt shooter (27%).
No. 5: Jerry West
Career Stats: 25,192 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 27 PPG
FG Percentage: 47 percent
Best Season: 31.3 PPG on 47.3 percent shooting
The Logo. Mr. Clutch. One of the greatest players, and scorers to ever lace them up. Jerry West was truly Mr. Clutch. He did it all: lay ups, mid range shot, close range shot etc. He definitely had a good touch with the basketball, and he just flat out knew how to score.
One thing though, we don't know how he would have been like with the 3 pt line implemented. His game was all round for his time, but not for modern times. Still, an excellent scorer in any era.
No. 4: Kobe Bryant
Career Stats: 25,790 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 25.3 PPG
FG Percentage: 46 percent
Best Season: 35.4 PPG on 45 percent shooting
Kobe Bryant might very well be the most all round player the game has seen since Michael Jordan. He has so many ways of scoring on the opposition, it's almost scary. He currently ranks 15th all time on the scorers list. No. 15-3 on the list are so close together, that realistically, and here's a scary thought, Bryant could surpass them all within 3 years. Realistically, he could also challenge All Time Scoring Leader Kareem Abdul Jabbar by the time Bryant's career is over.
His game is certainly complete. He has the best post game of any guard currently in the NBA, his mid range shot is perhaps the best since Jordan's, and his long range game is actually better than Jordan's (34% career 3pt shooter). His career certainly isn't over, in fact, he's still considered to be in his prime.
No. 3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Career Stats: 38, 387 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 24.6 PPG
FG Percentage: 55.9 percent
Best Season: 34.8 PPG on 57.4 percent shooting
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (formerly Lew Alcindor) is currently the leader in total points scored in NBA history. Part it is his dominance on that end, the other part is his longevity. He played effectively for around 20 years. Effectively, not in large decline. In his twilight years (final 3 years) he still averaged around 14 ppg (17ppg, 14 ppg, 10 ppg).
The reason he is not number one, is because he wasn't essentially the best scorer, he just lasted longer than everyone else. The Reason? His legendary Sky Hook. It was nearly unguardable, and incredibly hard to block. That is why Kareem lasted as long as he did. A great scorer, and an all time great player.
No. 2: Michael Jordan
Career Stats: 32,292 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 30.1 PPG
FG Percentage: 49 percent
Best Season: 37.1 PPG on 48 percent shooting
Hard to believe the greatest player to ever lace them up isn't the greatest scorer of all time. He certainly was an amazing scorer though. His array of dunks, lay ups, mid range shots, post game, etc, was the greatest ever witnessed. He certainly could kill your defense anyway he wanted to. And he was incredibly efficient for a guard; He shot over 50% for the majority of his career.
The only true knock on Jordan's offensive game (at least earlier in his career) was his 3pt accuracy. He certainly bettered it as his career wore on. Jordan may not have been the greatest scorer ever, but he certainly was great on that side of the ball.
No. 1: Wilt Chamberlain
Career Stats: 31,419 Total Points Scored
Per Game Stats: 30.1 PPG
FG Percentage: 54 percent
Best Season: 50.4 PPG on 50.4 percent shooting
The Big Dipper was the most dominant scorer of all time. If he really wanted to, he could have averaged 40 ppg for his career, but in his later years, chose to focus on other things in order win another championship. Nobody will ever score 50 ppg during a whole NBA season again. Chamberlain is, and was the most dominant player to ever lace them up.
Wilt may very well be the greatest athlete to ever grace the hardwood. This man used to bench press over 500 pounds, and his vertical leap was over 48''. All this, combined with his natural basketball ability, made the greatest scorer in history. Kudos to Mr. Chamberlain for his offensive skill, we may never see another athlete like him.
Who got snubbed? Who should have been ranked higher? Lower?
Give me your opinion in the comment section below...